Atucha II Nuclear Power Plant

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Atucha II Nuclear Power Plant
Montaje de Atucha II.jpg
The plant still under construction (2012).
Country Argentina
Location Lima, Buenos Aires
Status Operational
Construction began 1981
Commission date 2014
Operator(s) Nucleoelectrica Argentina
Nuclear power station
Reactor type PHWR
Reactor supplier Siemens
Power generation
Make and model Siemens
Thermal capacity 2,000 MWt
Nameplate capacity 750

Atucha II is a nuclear power plant in Argentina, located in Lima, Buenos Aires, on a site next to Atucha I. Its construction started in June 1981 under a contract with Siemens. Like Atucha I, it is a Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), but was planned to have a much higher power (thermal power approx. 2,000 MW, electrical 750 MW). At the time when it was started, it had the largest reactor pressure vessel of any nuclear power plant worldwide.[1] The total cost is now (2006) estimated at US$3.8 billion, or about $5500/kWe, considerably higher than the worldwide mean of about $1500/kWe.[2]

Partly as a response to the energy shortage caused by natural gas crisis of 2004, the issue of Atucha II was taken up by the Argentine government. In 2005 President Néstor Kirchner signed a decree to reactivate the construction and pledged to finish it by 2009.[3] New technicians were hired and a budget of about $120 million was requested for 2006. Eduardo Messi, president of Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A. (the firm in charge of the plant), told reporters that 93% of the components were either in storage or already installed.

On 23 August 2006 the government announced the re-activation of the national nuclear programme, and updated its promise to finish Atucha II by 2010, devoting a total of 1,850 million pesos ($596/€466 million).[4] The plant is slated to come on line with an installed capacity of about 750 MW (3% of Argentina's total electric installed capacity).

Atucha II was "pre-started" on September 28, 2011 by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and it is scheduled to start commercial service by mid-2013.[5][6] [7]

On June 3, 2014 reached its first criticality,[8][9] and on June 27, 2014 began to produce energy.[10]


  1. ^ Facundo Deluchi (2006-10-01). "Análisis del plan nuclear argentino" (PDF). Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales, Universidad del Salvador. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Costs: Operating / Building / Waste Disposal". Nuclear Energy Institute. 2005. Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 10 November 2006. 
  3. ^ Clarín. 4 September 2005. El Gobierno dice que terminará la central Atucha II en cuatro años
  4. ^ La Nación. 24 August 2006. Lanzó el Gobierno un plan de impulso a la energía nuclear
  5. ^ By April 2014, it was, however, not yet been connected to the grid. "President helps with Atucha 2 pre-start". World Nuclear News. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  6. ^ "CFK praises Argentina's 'leadership in peaceful nuclear energy'". Buenos Aires Herald. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Argentina's Atucha Unit 2 to be on line mid-2013". Atomic Power Review. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  8. ^ Pusieron en marcha el reactor de la Central Nuclear Atucha II
  9. ^ Power Output
  10. ^ La Central Nuclear Néstor Kirchner -Atucha II- comenzó a generar energía

See also[edit]